Recognition of Palestinian State by 3 European Countries May Encourage More, Says Palestinian PM

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Mustafa attends a press conference with Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Jose Manuel Albares (not pictured) after their meeting in Brussels Belgium 26 May 2024. (EPA)
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Mustafa attends a press conference with Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Jose Manuel Albares (not pictured) after their meeting in Brussels Belgium 26 May 2024. (EPA)
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Recognition of Palestinian State by 3 European Countries May Encourage More, Says Palestinian PM

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Mustafa attends a press conference with Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Jose Manuel Albares (not pictured) after their meeting in Brussels Belgium 26 May 2024. (EPA)
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Mustafa attends a press conference with Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Jose Manuel Albares (not pictured) after their meeting in Brussels Belgium 26 May 2024. (EPA)

The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority expressed hope on Sunday that Spain, Ireland and Norway's recognition of a Palestinian state would encourage other European countries to do the same.

Mohammad Mustafa, in Brussels to attend a meeting with international donors, said he was grateful that the three had effectively joined 143 other countries that backed a Palestinian bid to become a full United Nations members in a resolution earlier in May.

"We obviously want to have every country in Europe do the same," he told a news conference in Brussels with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.

"So this is again hopefully a source of encouragement for these countries to take the necessary courageous step."

The Middle East conflict has exposed diverging views in the European Union. Some EU diplomats have said it is not the right time to recognize Palestinian statehood.

Mustafa said recognition now was vital to keep the peace process alive.

Spain's Albares said other European countries were thinking about it, including Slovenia that had started the process.

Spain, Ireland and Norway said they will formally recognize a Palestinian state on Tuesday to help secure a halt to Israel's Gaza offensive after the Hamas attack on Oct. 7 and revive peace talks that stalled a decade ago.

Israel has called plans for recognition of a Palestinian state a "prize for terrorism".

Mustafa said he would spell out to international partners three priorities for his authority - supporting the people of Gaza, including by restoring basic services, building the institutions of a state and stabilizing the financial situation.



Hezbollah Fires New Barrage at Israel, Which Vows to Hit Back

Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
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Hezbollah Fires New Barrage at Israel, Which Vows to Hit Back

Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)

Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group said it fired a new wave of rockets and drones at the Israeli army on Thursday, after an Israeli strike killed one of its senior commanders, AFP reported.
It was Hezbollah’s largest simultaneous attack in near-daily cross-border fire between it and the Israeli army since its ally Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel triggered the Gaza war.
Hezbollah fighters launched “an attack with rockets and drones, targeting six barracks and military sites” while simultaneously flying “squadrons of explosive-laden drones” at three other Israeli bases, the group said in a statement.
One of the targets included an Israeli base that Hezbollah said housed an intelligence headquarters “responsible for the assassinations.”
Hezbollah said the attacks were “part of the response to the assassination” of Hezbollah commander Taleb Abdallah on Tuesday.
The Israeli army said about “40 projectiles were launched toward the Galilee and Golan Heights area,” adding most were intercepted while others ignited fires.
The Israeli government vowed to respond strongly to all Hezbollah attacks.
“Israel will respond with force to all aggressions by Hezbollah,” government spokesman David Mencer said during a press briefing.
“Whether through diplomatic efforts or otherwise, Israel will restore security on our northern border,” he added.
In recent weeks, cross-border exchanges have escalated, with Hezbollah stepping up its use of drones to attack Israeli military positions and Israel hitting back with targeted strikes against the militants.
On Wednesday, top Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine vowed the group would “increase the intensity, strength, quantity and quality of our attacks,” while speaking at Abdallah’s funeral.
The Israeli army confirmed it carried out the strike that “eliminated” Abdallah on Tuesday, describing him as “one of Hezbollah’s most senior commanders in southern Lebanon.”
A Lebanese military source said he was the “most important” Hezbollah commander to have been killed since the start of the war.
The cross-border violence has killed at least 468 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including 89 civilians, according to an AFP tally.
Israeli authorities say at least 15 Israeli soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed.